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Deadline to decide if students will repeat grades coming up

Parents have less than 24 hours to decide if they want their child to repeat a grade due to pandemic learning loss.

Back in June, Governor Wolf signed off on a law that allows students who were enrolled during the 2020-2021 school year to repeat their grade in an effort to make up for any lost educational opportunities because of COVID-19.

Even if the student met academic requirements, they are still permitted to repeat the grade.

Ashley Mertz will be a junior at North Hills High School and she said last year was tough for her.

“Really hard. Going from Zoom back to school, splitting us up, not seeing friends, doing college classes online and not being in school was really hard actually,” she said.

She’s moving forward in school, but she has friends who chose otherwise.

“A couple people have actually said they’re not interested in pushing forward. They didn’t do their best due to COVID. So a couple kids I know are staying back to do it how they wish they could,” Mertz said.

Dr. Shannon Wanless, a professor at Pitt’s School of Education, and director of the child development office says leaving the decision up to parents is the best choice.

“Families ... are the ones who know their children best, and so keeping this in their hands and trusting their own feeling after spending the year being so immersed in their children’s learning experience like never before,” she said.

Chrissy Trawick has a preschool daughter who told us things would be different if her child were older.

“If she was in a higher grade, like first (grade), I probably would, because they had to actually do online classes, and I don’t know how difficult that would have been for me to help her with that,” she said.

If you’ve decided that you want your child to repeat a grade, you must submit a form that you can find on the department of education’s website. It must be submitted by Thursday.